Visitors are welcome at alpaca ranch

The Bulletin
By: Suzanne Roig
Photo: Courtesy of Pxhere

Original content from The Bulletin.        

TERREBONNE — Two women stand next to a corral fence with their hands full of kibble as an alpaca nibbles away from the inside of the maternity pen at Crescent Moon Ranch.

They are feeding Alkina and Navea, the alpacas who are in their last weeks of an 11-month pregnancy.

“Morning, ladies,” said Scott Miller, who co-owns the 42-acre ranch with his wife, Debbie.

The ranch, on the east side of U.S. Highway 97 near Smith Rock, has about 150 alpaca raised mainly for their fleece and a small store where people can come see products made of alpaca and buy food to feed the animals.

Encouraging visitors is all part of the agricultural tourism that is a prime objective for the ranch, along with raising alpaca for their fleece, growing hay and selling alpaca breeding stock.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo at The Bulletin.

Alpacapalooza's stars show appeal at Little Rock event

Arkansas Online
By: Emma Pettit
Photo: By Thomas Metthe
Photo Caption: Liam Liddell, 2, reaches out to offer food to an alpaca Saturday during Alpacapalooza at the Heifer International Village and Urban Farm in Little Rock.

Original content from Arkansas Online.        

An alpaca's appeal is not just its fluffy fleece, explained Christopher Wyman, a consultant and contractor with Heifer International.

What Wyman said he "enjoys most" about the creatures is the preponderance of quality manure. Like rabbit feces, alpaca waste is a phenomenal plant fertilizer.

Wyman told this and other facts to a crowd gathered around a pen on the Heifer Village and Urban Farm campus in downtown Little Rock on Saturday.

Onlookers were attending Alpacapalooza 2018, hosted by the global hunger and poverty relief charity. Six alpacas -- Charlie, Flirt, Lady, Lucky, Mystique and Noche -- could be fed and petted between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

An alpaca looks less like an animal that has evolved through natural selection and more like a child's drawing of the perfect playmate: round, moist eyes, a long neck that swivels, a fluffy coat and two toes per foot.

They trot. They roll in dirt, like chickens. They love being hosed down. And they spit less than camels or llamas, Wyman said.

Some people in the crowd, like Cindy Richardson, weren't alpaca novices. She and her husband operate the Featherz Nest Alpacas farm in Grapevine.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at Arkansas Online

Principal plants one on alpaca

Mankato Free Press 
By: Brian Arola
Photo: By Brian Arola
Photo Caption: Principal Larry Rude of Mount Olive Lutheran School smooches an alpaca as handler Jeremy Hanks of Luxury Alpaca in Janesville looks on Friday. Rude went through with the embrace after his students met a goal of reading 80,000 minutes in February. In past years he's kissed a pig and got a pie in the face.

Original content from Mankato Free Press.        

MANKATO — Two years ago Mount Olive Lutheran School Principal Larry Rude kissed a pig. Last year he got pied.

Compared to those shenanigans, his latest predicament was a bit more hairy.

While his students looked on in amusement, Rude smooched "Red" the alpaca in the school gym.

The students were rewarded with the stunt after reading more than 80,000 minutes combined during February’s “I Love to Read Month.” Rude said he was more apprehensive about the alpaca than the pig — perhaps because pigs aren’t known to spit — but he had to follow through after they met the goal.

“Every year we bring up the total a little more and they always do it,” he said.

The school came up with the alpaca idea because the students seem to love a song called “Let Me Be Your Llama,” by The Divers. Peter Bloedel, one of the band members, performed the song for the students before the alpaca came out.

First grade teacher Miranda Dittmer said they didn’t know of any llama farms nearby, so they reached out to Luxury Alpaca in Janesville for the next best option.

Read the rest of this story at Mankato Free Press.

From the blackboard to the barnyard : Longtime Johnsonburg teacher turns full-time alpaca farmer

Courier Express  
By: Matthew Guerry
Photo: Courtesy of Max Pixel

Original content from Courier Express.        

KANE — It was hard for Lois Crozier to walk away from education. Teaching was something she pretended to do playing games as a little girl, what every career assessment she ever took said she would be best at.

But after 30 years of teaching biology at the Johnsonburg Area School District, it was time for a change.

“You have the same time schedule: every 45 minutes a bell rings, you only have three minutes ‘til the next class, you have a half-an-hour lunch. Your whole life is mapped out being a teacher,” she said. “Everything is so predetermined, and eventually that just gets tiresome.”

Even though she would miss her students and her classroom, Crozier decided to retire. You could say she’s self-employed now, working mostly from home.

But she doesn’t work alone; she has 23 furry friends to keep her company. Since she retired in 2017, she has spent much of her time time tending to the alpacas she and her husband started raising on their Kane farmstead, Little Bear Creek Alpacas, six years ago.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at Courier Express.